Mary, Mother of God

Luke 2: 16-21
Num 6:22-27 / Psa 67 / Gal 4: 4-7

Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
(Luke 2:19)

Why be afraid of days to come?
Let FAITH in GOD drive out our fear!
We may lose some, but we’ll win some
But with HOPE we’ll begin this year!

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. (Luke 2: 16-21)

Reflection

Today we greet each other, “May you have a prosperous new year!” with the sincere hope (and prayer) that the dire economic predictions made as 2008 was coming to a close would not become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Indeed, if the continuing drop in the price of oil worldwide is an indicator of this year’s economic prospects, most analysts would not be optimistic in their forecasts at all. The extremely low demand for petroleum, the main source of the world’s power can only mean major bankruptcies and global recession have taken hold all over the world’s markets. These will result in massive unemployment, and a critical rise in poverty, disease, civil disorder and criminality.

As children of God, we have reason to begin this first day of the year with hope, because we are celebrating this day as the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God. Mary is our ‘Mother of Hope’ — The Queen Mother whom our Lord Jesus has given to us as our succor in times of trouble and need. The example of Mary’s life — the sufferings and sacrifices that she had to endure, with grace and complete confidence in the plans of God in her life, should serve as an inspiration to us that we must never lose hope even in the most severe trials in our life.

In her humility, Mary never asked for any concession from God for the great sacrifice and responsibility she was asked to undertake. Neither did she think highly of herself for having been honored to be the Mother of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. She simply praised God for the special privilege that God had given her, with the pains and burdens that came along with the job. As her adopted children, we must also have complete trust that God will not abandon us in times of trials and tribulations. We do not count for nothing in God’s eyes, even if our fortunes have fallen below the world’s standards. Consider the shepherds, who belonged to the lowest rung in Israel’s social ladder: they were given the honor of being the first witnesses of the miracle of God’s revelation in Bethlehem, even ahead of the Magi from the East.

As we begin this new year, let us resolve to be more prudent and frugal than what we had been in the past, as we face the uncertain times that this year may bring. But more importantly, let us submit, like our Mother Mary, to the plans of God in our life, and never lose hope that He has only the best intentions for our spiritual growth. And with the Mother of God as our Intercessor, is there any reason to fear? “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” (Gal.4:6-7)

May “the LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn His face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26) Amen.

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that His ways may be known on earth, His salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise You, O God; may all the peoples praise You. May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for You rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth. May the peoples praise You, O God; may all the peoples praise You. Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us. God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him. (Psalm 67: 1-7)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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